Wait. How long have I been building that imaginary plywood stage called an author platform?
A long, long time! And you know what? It wore me out.
Yeah. It just tuckered this girl out.
You see, this is post 782. I've been blogging since 2008. Facebook? Yep. Twitter? Uh-huh. Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, Goodreads? Absolutely.
I've been writing full time for seven years, studying, getting critiques, critiquing, honing my skills, attending conferences, pitching to editors, studying the industry. A girl can learn a lot about writing and the publishing industry in seven years.
But last fall I read Wendy Lawton's fabulous post, "The Trouble with Tribes" over at Books and Such Literary Blog, and I sensed something needed to change. Wendy discusses the problem many authors have--their Tribe (and platform) consists of peers instead of readers.
Personally, I think aspiring fiction writers are smart to connect with peers. These are the people who will shout out your news and recommend your books to friends. Unpublished fiction authors have a tough time finding readers. After all, we don't have a book to sell.
But much of Wendy's advice rang true. We need to continue leaving our comfort zone to attract an audience. And that is what I've struggled with when the initial excitement of building a platform wore off. I settled for comfortable because I was too discouraged and tired to put myself out there.
I've been blessed. My platform has continued to grow on every site without tons of effort on my part. But I could do a better job of engaging readers.
The bottom line?
I'm pushing myself to make more of an effort on my social media sites. Brainstorming ways to kick-start my platform.
Because I'm persistent, and I believe in my books. I love writing. Writing isn't my hobby. Getting published isn't something that would be nice. It's my big dream, and I've sacrificed a lot to make it happen. I'm willing to sacrifice more.
If becoming a published author is important to you, you'll pick up the hammer and nails and build your platform, even when you're worn out.
* Put small efforts in every day.
* Don't let your platform languish.
* Be generous.
* Nurture relationships.
* Freshen the look of your site every so often.
* And don't count on your platform to give you an edge with editors. It might, but it might not.
When the time comes to market your books, you'll need a web presence to do it. Think of building your platform as investing in your business. You can "save" now by having your own system in place or "borrow" later by hiring web designers, paying for blog tours, or hiring a publicist. You might want to do both. It's good to have options.
If you're an aspiring author (or a published author), how do you stay motivated to build your platform?
Have a terrific day!